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Decorative picture of cut Texas sheet cake on a plate
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5 from 1 vote

Texas Sheet Cake

This original Texas sheet cake recipe is easy to make. A thin layer of luscious chocolate cake covered with delicate chocolate icing and topped with toasted pecans. It's a rich and moist cake and a real crowd-pleaser. This cake has been popular for many decades!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Texas sheet cake, Texas sheet cake recipe, Texas sheet cake with buttermilk
Servings: 15 servings
Calories: 425kcal



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder, spooned and leveled
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup canola or vegetable oil
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup hot water


  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder, spooned and leveled
  • cup hot milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 cup pecans, toasted*


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and line a 9x13-inch (23x33cm) baking pan** with parchment paper. Spray a bit of baking spray or few oil drops underneath the paper that it sticks to the pan. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, and salt to combine. Set aside.
  • In another large mixing bowl, whisk oil, buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla to combine, about 1 minute. Add hot water and whisk to combine, about 1 minute. Add the dry ingredients and whisk just until combined, about 1 minute. The batter will be thin. Then transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan and bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean with a few moist crumbs attached. Let cool for 10 minutes.
  • While the cake is cooling, start immediately with the frosting. Therefore, whisk the butter and cocoa until combined, and no lumps remain, about 1 minute. Gradually add the hot milk while whisking. Then add the vanilla and powdered sugar and whisk until smooth and combined, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Spoon the icing on top of the cake and spread evenly. Top with pecans and set aside for 15-30 minutes to allow the frosting to set. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Freeze for up to 3 months.



* Pecans
You can use toasted pecans from the store or toast them on your own. If you would like to toast them, preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C). Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and bake for 7-8 minutes. Then remove from the oven and set aside.

** Pan size
This recipe calls for a 9x13-inch (23x33cm) pan. The cake will be about ¾-inch (1.9cm) high. Alternatively, you can use a jelly roll pan 10 ½ x 15 ½ inch (27x39cm) and bake the cake for 14-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. 
If you want to bake a smaller cake, divide the recipe in half and bake in a 9x9-inch (23x23cm) baking pan. The baking time is the same.

  • Plain all-purpose flour - you can use gluten-free flour (a blend with xanthan gum) instead. Substitute 1:1.
  • Cocoa - I used unsweetened natural cocoa powder for this recipe. It's widely available in the US. On the other hand, in most parts of Europe, Dutch-processed cocoa powder is the common unsweetened cocoa powder widely available in stores. If you only get Dutch-processed cocoa powder, substitute the baking soda for 1 tablespoon (12g) baking powder. Please be aware that using Dutch-processed cocoa and baking powder will alter the taste and texture of the cake noticeably.
  • Buttermilk - if you don't get buttermilk, you make your own. Therefore, pour 1 ½ teaspoon (7ml) of vinegar or lemon juice into a 1 cup (240ml) measurer and fill the cup with milk until full. Transfer to a jar, stir to combine and let sit for 5 minutes until the mixture starts to curdle a little. Then use in the recipe as directed.
  • Milk - I prefer full-fat or at least 2%, but you can use whatever milk you prefer. Lactose-free works as well.
  • Pecans - are optional but highly recommended.

Expert tips
  • The water should be hot but not boiling. The same is true for the milk.
  • Don't overbake the cake, or it will be dry.
  • Start immediately to prepare the icing as soon as you remove the cake from the oven. The cake should not cool any longer than 10 to 15 minutes max before you top it with the icing.

More questions?
Make this recipe perfect every time. So be sure to check the full post above. I included easy step-by-step photo instructions and a video to make it easy for you to replicate this recipe.


Calories: 425kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 252mg | Potassium: 130mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 45g | Vitamin A: 251IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 2mg